Kenneth Scott-Kelow took a shotgun snap and sprinted through a gaping hole on the right side of the Wise offensive line late in the third quarter of Saturday’s Maryland 4A state football semifinal against No. 12 Meade, gliding his way to the end zone on a 45-yard touchdown run.
Third-ranked Wise struggled to rush effectively for most of the game, but that all changed when they put the senior wide receiver in the backfield. No matter how Scott-Kelow ended up with the ball, good things happened for the third-ranked Pumas in a 40-0 win over the Mustangs in Upper Marlboro.
The versatile 5-foot-8, 160-pounder had touchdowns via run, catch and punt return as Wise clinched its third trip to the Maryland 4A state final in four years. The Prince George’s County power will meet Quince Orchard on Friday at M&T Bank Stadium, looking for its first state title.
“Even though I don’t always get the ball, I know I can help my team out,” said Scott-Kelow, who had three touchdowns on the season coming into the game. “When it’s my chance, I try to come through and make plays.”
Wise (13-0) scored on its opening drive and put the game out of reach early en route to its eighth shutout of the season. In its first state semifinal appearance since 2001, Meade (10-3) drove inside the Wise 20-yard line twice in the second half but failed to crack the end zone as its surprise playoff run came to an end.
But the Pumas depended on Scott-Kelow to provide the offensive spark with its rushing attack sputtering. He hauled in a 25-yard touchdown catch from junior Isaiah Black in the second quarter and took a 51-yard punt return to the end zone early in the third before adding a score out of the team’s “Wild Puma” formation. Scott-Kelow finished with four catches for 60 yards and three rushes for 77 yards, both team highs.
Scott-Kelow started his high school career as a quarterback but made the switch to wide receiver last fall. He said he began feeling more comfortable at the position after he spent time this summer working with former Wise quarterback DeAndre’ Smith, who led the Pumas in their 2010 title game appearance and now plays wide receiver at James Madison.
“He’s one of our best athletes on the field, and we’ve just got to find ways to get him the ball,” Coach DaLawn Parrish said of Scott-Kelow. “Every time he touches the ball, it’s exciting.”
The convincing performance put Wise back into familiar territory, one victory away from the state title. The Pumas, who have won every game this season by at least three scores, lost to Old Mill in 2009 and Urbana in 2010 with the championship on the line. After Parrish addressed his team postgame, the players gathered in a circle, chanting “We’re ready.”
“It’s not over yet,” senior linebacker D’Angelo Niler said. “We’re not satisfied with a win, even with a score like this. We’re not satisfied until we have the trophy in our hands.”